23 Jul 2021

FAST leader says Tuilaepa wrong on seasonal work claim

11:07 am on 23 July 2021

The leader of Samoa's FAST Party has dismissed a claim by the caretaker prime minister that her party would stop Samoans going overseas for seasonal work.

FAST's Fiame Naomi Mata'afa and HRPP's Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi have been battling to take control of the government since the election on 9th April.

Tuilaepa told a radio audience on Thursday that FAST would stop all seasonal work in Australia and New Zealand once they are in power.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, left, and Fiame Naomi Mata'afa

Photo: RNZ Pacific / Tipi Autagavaia

Fiame said that's not true, but she said the party does want some emphasis on creating small enterprises within Samoa.

"Our platform is really investing in people to develop livelihoods - small, medium business and so forth. But we need to see it in that context at the moment of course. Especially given the economic and financial conditions under Covid people are looking for a wage," she said

Fiame also said Tuilaepa's claim that FAST would shut down the state owned airline, Samoa Airways, is wrong.

However she said there needs to be debate because the airline, which is not flying regularly, is in significant debt, and this cannot be ignored.